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Hello. Have a question about my network config that I’m hoping one of you experts out there can help me with.  I purchased the 16X25 Pixel tree kit this year and have added it into my existing incandescent network. The layout is like this - PC connected to indoor incandescent controller via USB485-HS adapter. ELL connected to that indoor incandescent controller to communicate with an outdoor incandescent controller and the pixie controller.  They are all currently running on a regular enhanced network at 57.6K. 

While the pixel tree seems to function exactly how we sequenced it, the incandescent lights are not, especially my arches. 

Should I have 2 separate networks configured?  One just for the incandescent controllers and another for the pixel tree with separate USB485-HS adapters?  If so, any other way around having to use another USB485-HS adapter?  Could I run Ethernet right from the PC to the pixie controller?  Any advice or suggestions is much appreciated. Thank you. 

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57K is slow speed (and can run on a older Black dongle). If your old controllers are NOT gen 3's, they can't exist on an Enhanced mode network

Pixies want High speed (500K) and can not run on a ELL (cuz it cant do 500K)

Bottom line: You need 2 networks and the Pixie on needs to be wired all the way

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If you connect that pixie directly to your computer, kiss it goodbye.

 

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9 hours ago, dibblejr said:

If you connect that pixie directly to your computer, kiss it goodbye.

 

Good catch.

Pixies do not run on a Ethernet (802.3)

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And older controllers, PRE Gen 3 CAN NOT run on speeds other than 57.6K or 115K, nor can they use or run on an Enhanced network.  I'm not sure if the ELL's can even run at 115K, they may be limited to 57.6K, but I am unsure of that.  You definitely need 2 separate networks, one for the HS Enhanced network{Red HS Adapter} and one for the slower speeds 57.6K-115K maximum {Black RS485 Adapter}.

I have older versions of the CTB16PC {4 of them} and also 5 CCC 1 RGB {CCB100D} Controllers, each are on their own network and comm port, CTB16PC Controllers are on Regular LOR Network, Comm3, 115K, the CCB100D RGB Controllers are on Aux A, 500K, Enhanced and Comm4.  This is the best way to set up things when you have controllers that may be different types and possibly older that may not run at faster speeds and can't use an Enhanced network.  As they won't get along too well on the same network.  You'll get lag times, erratic behavior, etc.  So 2 networks are definitely needed in most cases.

And as J.R. stated, do not connect your controllers directly to the computer ethernet port, or you';ll let the magic smoke out.  Meaning you will probably destroy your controller and possibly even your computer in doing so!

 

Edited by Orville

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I also recommend using different colored cables for each network.  That helps with trouble shooting: <head slap> Whats that red cable doing on a Gen 2 box?

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Thank you everyone for taking the time to provide your comments and recommendations. My incandescent controllers are gen3 and interestingly enough, the pixel tree is working with the ELL’s at 57.6K.  It’s the arches that are giving me the problems.

Nevertheless though, I am going to purchase another USB485-HS adapter and create another high speed network for the pixel tree. Now the challenge becomes, the most efficient way to run Ethernet from inside to outside without drilling a hole. ;). Thanks again everyone. 

Edited by Listen to the lights

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20 minutes ago, Listen to the lights said:

Thank you everyone for taking the time to provide your comments and recommendations. My incandescent controllers are gen3 and interestingly enough, the pixel tree is working with the ELL’s at 57.6K.  It’s the arches that are giving me the problems.

Nevertheless though, I am going to purchase another USB485-HS adapter and create another high speed network for the pixel tree. Now the challenge becomes, the most efficient way to run Ethernet from inside to outside without drilling a hole. ;). Thanks again everyone. 

ELL = no data hole but drilling is not difficult. If you make your own cat5 cables you can even have a very small hole.

JR

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1 hour ago, Listen to the lights said:

Thank you everyone for taking the time to provide your comments and recommendations. My incandescent controllers are gen3 and interestingly enough, the pixel tree is working with the ELL’s at 57.6K.  It’s the arches that are giving me the problems.

Nevertheless though, I am going to purchase another USB485-HS adapter and create another high speed network for the pixel tree. Now the challenge becomes, the most efficient way to run Ethernet from inside to outside without drilling a hole. ;).  Thanks again everyone. 

Is this rental property? No. it is fairly easy as long as it is not stone or brick. I'm going for a bigger solution then JR:

buy 2 class 2 OLD WORK boxes (they are the Orange ones at the Depot or Lowes). buy a grass  skirt and plate for inside  https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-Ultra-Pro-1-Brush-White-Wall-Plate-87697/202699197

Buy outdoor cover and use the decora part of another of the above OR something like this https://www.amazon.com/SCOOP-Entrance-Removable-1-Gang-2-Gang/dp/B009Q098PS/ref=sr_1_46?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1544586595&amp;sr=8-46&amp;keywords=low+voltage+cable+plates

Stuff the gap in the plate with foam or a rag .

Just be careful to not cur deep, in case romex crosses your path. The CAT5 can easily pass across (90 degrees is the optimum cross)

 

Edited by TheDucks

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3 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

Is this rental property? No. it is fairly easy as long as it is not stone or brick. I'm going for a bigger solution then JR:

buy 2 class 2 OLD WORK boxes (they are the Orange ones at the Depot or Lowes). buy a grass  skirt and plate for inside  https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-Ultra-Pro-1-Brush-White-Wall-Plate-87697/202699197

Buy outdoor cover and use the decora part of another of the above OR something like this https://www.amazon.com/SCOOP-Entrance-Removable-1-Gang-2-Gang/dp/B009Q098PS/ref=sr_1_46?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1544586595&amp;sr=8-46&amp;keywords=low+voltage+cable+plates

Stuff the gap in the plate with foam or a rag .

Just be careful to not cur deep, in case romex crosses your path. The CAT5 can easily pass across (90 degrees is the optimum cross)

 

Actually what I do at my house is different than what I sug above.

I use my security camera POE cable holes and run my LOR data cables through the same holes. In a few cameras I have them mounted to a junction box with a hinged cover. Running down the box is pvc conduit. I run my data lines down through and to their controllers. The hinged box allows me to open the cover to access the cat5 cable and guide it through the conduit. win win.

My home is brick and I have no trouble drilling through it.

JR

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11 hours ago, dibblejr said:

Actually what I do at my house is different than what I sug above.

I use my security camera POE cable holes and run my LOR data cables through the same holes. In a few cameras I have them mounted to a junction box with a hinged cover. Running down the box is pvc conduit. I run my data lines down through and to their controllers. The hinged box allows me to open the cover to access the cat5 cable and guide it through the conduit. win win.

My home is brick and I have no trouble drilling through it.

JR

Concrete Drill Bits work wonders don't they?  LOL  

Used them to drill new holes in my late mother in laws garage to put in a new threshold that didn't line up with the old one under the door I removed that was worn out.  Also used those concrete drill bits to drill holes to mount my controllers on a brick retaining wall so they'd be hidden behind the bushes when I lived at her house in her last few years.  Wish my wife could have kept that home, but alas that just wasn't too be.  Long story about that.

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1 hour ago, Orville said:

Concrete Drill Bits work wonders don't they?  LOL  

Used them to drill new holes in my late mother in laws garage to put in a new threshold that didn't line up with the old one under the door I removed that was worn out.  Also used those concrete drill bits to drill holes to mount my controllers on a brick retaining wall so they'd be hidden behind the bushes when I lived at her house in her last few years.  Wish my wife could have kept that home, but alas that just wasn't too be.  Long story about that.

Obviously, I live in the wrong neighborhood, the reason I thought most folk would not have a Roto-hammer type drill 😏.. I am 1 of 2 houses (I am jealous of the other one: he has even more power tools) in the entire block that has TOOLS other than the basic Hammer-screwdriver -pliers.

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17 hours ago, Listen to the lights said:

Thank you everyone for taking the time to provide your comments and recommendations. My incandescent controllers are gen3 and interestingly enough, the pixel tree is working with the ELL’s at 57.6K.  It’s the arches that are giving me the problems.

Nevertheless though, I am going to purchase another USB485-HS adapter and create another high speed network for the pixel tree. Now the challenge becomes, the most efficient way to run Ethernet from inside to outside without drilling a hole. ;). Thanks again everyone. 

For years, I ran a flat ethernet cable from the RS-485 adapter to the first controller.   You can get them most anywhere, including Wal-Mart.   Just close the window on it.   After numerous years, they still work fine and look no worse for wear despite being "pinched" in the window frame (and the windows close and lock properly too).   

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Jadaol-Cat-Ethernet-Cable-Black/dp/B018BCJM52/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1544646988&amp;sr=8-13&amp;keywords=flat+ethernet+cable

 

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1 hour ago, jtomason said:

For years, I ran a flat ethernet cable from the RS-485 adapter to the first controller.   You can get them most anywhere, including Wal-Mart.   Just close the window on it.   After numerous years, they still work fine and look no worse for wear despite being "pinched" in the window frame (and the windows close and lock properly too).   

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Jadaol-Cat-Ethernet-Cable-Black/dp/B018BCJM52/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1544646988&amp;sr=8-13&amp;keywords=flat+ethernet+cable

 

I need to buy a few of those in various lengths.  I never knew they came in a FLAT style.   Been using rounded ones for years.  Only thing is I wish they were BOOTLESS types, snagless usually means they have that dratted plastic boot on them and for some controllers, like the CCB100D RGB units, they just don't work unless you cut the booting off them.  Which is a royal pain, but can be done, just have to make sure you don't cut into the actual cable!  

And being flat, I think this may be even more difficult to do without damaging the flat wire inside the booted area. 

I'd make my own, but just don't have the depth perception or the skill to do it.   Tried repairing older cat5 with new connectors and just couldn't get the connector and wires to stay put when tried to crimp them.  

So ready made is the only way to go for me.  Have you seen these flat cat cables bootless anywhere per chance?

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No - but being flat they will bend 90 degrees easily.  I’ve never had a problem in my controllers.  I can show pictures tomorrow when I get home if needed. 

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4 hours ago, jtomason said:

No - but being flat they will bend 90 degrees easily.  I’ve never had a problem in my controllers.  I can show pictures tomorrow when I get home if needed. 

Do they bend well enough in the RGB Controllers {mainly just the upper RJ45 jack}? 

I have 5 CCB100D version 1 RGB Smart Pixel LOR Controllers and I had to cut the boots off every cat5 cable that went to the upper RJ45 jack, the lower ones could handle the boot fine, just the upper ones did I have problems getting them into the jack, they just wouldn't fit the space allotted, but after I cut the boot off, they worked fine in the upper jack.  These being the rounded Cat5 cables I had to cut the boot off, not flat.

Edited by Orville

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3 minutes ago, Orville said:

Do they bend well enough in the RGB Controllers {mainly just the upper RJ45 jack}? 

I have 5 CCB100D version 1 RGB Smart Pixel LOR Controllers and I had to cut the boots off every cat5 cable that went to the upper RJ45 jack, the lower ones could handle the boot fine, just the upper ones did I have problems getting them into the jack, they just wouldn't fit the space allotted, but after I cut the boot off, they worked fine in the upper jack.

I'm sure they would, but I don't have one of those to verify.  Let me take some pictures of them tomorrow bent and let you see how much clearance above the connector you need.  

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How do I tell if my controllers are Gen 3. I’m frustrated because I swear it said somewhere right on the product listing that the tree was as simple as daisy chaining it to the rest of your network. Now I’m running into all kinds of problems. 

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4 hours ago, Army Lights said:

How do I tell if my controllers are Gen 3. I’m frustrated because I swear it said somewhere right on the product listing that the tree was as simple as daisy chaining it to the rest of your network. Now I’m running into all kinds of problems. 

I replied to your other thread.

Based on your UN I’d guess you are in the Army, if so thank you for your service.

I retired from Fort Drum 10 years ago Dec 1

Yoi need to upgrade your software version to at least advanced but I would recommend pro.

As stated before you get S4 and I can get you lights in minutes.

Fillow my step by step once you have the correct license level

JR

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Hey Army,

The HU tells you what model and firmware for each device found.

But, when we say Gen 3 for the AC controller, the board will say V3 and the give away,is the LED is now Green and the firmware drops  back to the start because it supports new hardware. Wit firmware: One sizes does not fit all.

Gen 2' have 4.x FW Only use the firmware for your model or you will sink your ship (ex-Navy here )

 

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46 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

Hey Army,

The HU tells you what model and firmware for each device found.

But, when we say Gen 3 for the AC controller, the board will say V3 and the give away,is the LED is now Green and the firmware drops  back to the start because it supports new hardware. Wit firmware: One sizes does not fit all.

Gen 2' have 4.x FW Only use the firmware for your model or you will sink your ship (ex-Navy here )

 

Ok, so just to clarify: there is no way to make the Gen 2 device compatible through a firmware update, correct? I’ve already ordered an additional dongle, but that’ll take a week to get here, so I’m gauging my options. 

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8 minutes ago, Army Lights said:

Ok, so just to clarify: there is no way to make the Gen 2 device compatible through a firmware update, correct? I’ve already ordered an additional dongle, but that’ll take a week to get here, so I’m gauging my options. 

You are correct. 2 things to allow the Gen2 on the same network . 1) Max speed 115K,  2)No enhanced mode on that network 3)and probably, really simple pixel programs (very small changes. nothing rapid) as to not use all the bandwidth

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5 hours ago, TheDucks said:

You are correct. 2 things to allow the Gen2 on the same network . 1) Max speed 115K,  2)No enhanced mode on that network 3)and probably, really simple pixel programs (very small changes. nothing rapid) as to not use all the bandwidth

Have you tried using slow chases with pixels?   It looks like a funeral procession, it's just WAAAAAAYYYYY too slow.  And by adding the RGB pixels creating the slow lighting, drop outs{total black out of some lights} and lag times were why I moved to S4 PRO in the first place.  Then I didn't realize I needed a red HS adapter for the pixels, since running that at 57.6k or 115k was still too dadgum slow and caused all those aforementioned issues! 

So I needed to get a HS adapter, so I had to put the RGB lighting on a separate high speed 500K Enhanced Network and ALL my lighting issues with way too slow chases, lags and even complete drop outs of the pixels and drop outs on the AC Controllers all went away.  

And it's because I tried running the RGB lighting on the same network {on a black adapter USB RS485B} as my older V2 AC Controllers {4 of them} and the RGB lights { 5 CCB100D Controllers and 10 strands of RGB Smart Pixels} them, and the{AC Controllers} both would drop out{black out lights at random times}, lag or skip sections of lights{lights completely off when they should be on and sometimes they'd turn lights on when they should be off!},.  Example:  My 3 channel arches would light channels 1, 3,  channel 2 got blacked out, then the second arch would end up lighting only its center section{channel 5}, channels 4 and 6 would get blacked out, maybe, just maybe one of them would light as it was actually sequenced.  And it did this randomly with the RGB Pixels and the lights on the AC Controllers.   So if you have old incandescent or even RGB arches, it can really make them look really goofy and not light as they were sequenced.  Along with other lighting in your display!

Edited by Orville

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18 hours ago, jtomason said:

I'm sure they would, but I don't have one of those to verify.  Let me take some pictures of them tomorrow bent and let you see how much clearance above the connector you need.  

It was only booted cables that are an issue, the boots don't bend very well, definitely could not bend them enough to get them into the upper jack, the boot was too long and would let even get it into the upper jack.  Once I cut the boot off, I could get it to fit and work on the basic round cat5 cables.  That's why I'm wondering if the booted flat cables are going to have that same issue in the CCB100D or Pixie in the box style controllers that have this same makeup.  I wish they had used the same type of dual jack the CTB16PC controllers have, then it wouldn't really matter which type cable booted or not I used in them.

  I know due to the slimness of the RGB boxes, much, much smaller than AC Controller types, that the lid mounted jacks with their openings facing the lid wouldn't work, but couldn't they have used a dual facing downward jack similar to the CTB16PC types for the cat cable connections in the RGB boxes?  Then the boot issue wouldn't even exist in them.   I'm guessing it's the way the circuitry is designed in them that may prohibit the use of a single dual opening cat cable jack, and is why they used a separate cat cable jack system like they did in the RGB boxes.

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